Posts Tagged ‘Pearl Harbor’

New Exhibit at Battleship Missouri Memorial, Pearl Harbor, Honors Nisei Veterans

November 19, 2013
Newly enlisted soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team gathered on March 28, 1943 in front of the historic Iolani Palace at the heart of downtown Honolulu for a memorable farewell ceremony.

Newly enlisted soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team gathered on March 28, 1943 in front of the historic Iolani Palace at the heart of downtown Honolulu for a memorable farewell ceremony.

The Battleship Missouri Memorial at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, unveiled a new onboard exhibit in tribute to America’s Nisei veterans. The exhibit includes dramatic photos, news articles and descriptive text on large display panels, and a video that tells the story of how these Americans of Japanese ancestry overcame the prejudice and questioning of their loyalty at the war’s outset to earn acclaim and respect with their courageous exploits in Europe and the Pacific. The exhibit stretches more than 50 feet and is located one deck below the main deck near the ship’s galley.

“This new exhibit highlights the extraordinary achievements of America’s courageous Nisei soldiers and shows how they proved to our nation during the most stressful of times that being an American isn’t defined by race nor religion,” Michael A. Carr, President and COO of the Battleship Missouri Memorial, said.

“It was 70 years ago when young Nisei men from Hawaii and the U.S. mainland heroically went to battle for America to defeat fascism and tyranny. America’s people, our way of life, and our freedoms were under attack – and no one fought harder to protect all that we hold dear as citizens than the Nisei soldiers. We are deeply honored to recognize these proud warriors on this Veterans Day for all they did in fighting for our country.”

On December 7, 1941, hundreds of Hawaii’s Nisei residents were serving on active duty with the Army or Territorial Guard when Imperial Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and other defense installations. Many of these Nisei were soon removed from their units by a government suspicious of their devotion to America. Most went on to form the 100th Infantry Battalion or to enlist in the Military Intelligence Service starting in 1942. In 1943, thousands more Nisei answered a call for volunteers to serve in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team. The 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion was activated in April 1944.

The 100th Infantry Battalion was the first Nisei combat unit, fighting in Italy and France from September 1943 until Germany’s surrender in May 1945. The 100th absorbed so many casualties, it became known as the ‘Purple Heart Battalion.’

The 442nd Regimental Combat Team lived up to its motto of “Go for Broke” with incredible battlefield exploits in Europe. The 442nd became the most decorated unit for its size and duration of service in U.S. military history.


The Military Intelligence Service took part in every major U.S. military command and battle in Asia and the Pacific, translating Japanese-language communications. The MIS is credited with saving thousands of lives and shortening the war.

The 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion built 54 major defense projects on Oahu. The War Department refused General Douglas MacArthur’s request to relocate the 1399th to the Philippines, considering the unit essential to Hawaii’s defense.

Contributors and sources for the Missouri’s Nisei exhibit are:

  • Go For Broke National Education Center “Unknown Warriors” DVD video
  • Japanese Cultural Center of Hawaii “Honouliuli Internment” Exhibit
  • Kapiolani Community College “Honoring the Legacy” Exhibit and 1399th Engineer Construction Battalion
  • Eric Saul, Images from the National Archives of the 100th Battalion, 442nd Regimental Combat Team, and Military Intelligence Service
  • Claire Mitani, 442nd Veterans Archives (Consultant)
  • Mark Matsunaga, Military Intelligence Service (Consultant)

Battleship Missouri Memorial

The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. General admission, which includes choice of an optional tour, is $22 per adult and $11 per child (4-12). Military, kama‘aina (local resident) and school group pricing is available. For information or reservations, call (toll-free) 1-877-644-4896 or visit

The Battleship Missouri Memorial, located a mere ship’s length from the USS Arizona Memorial, completes a historical visitor experience that begins with the “day of infamy” and the sinking of the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor and ends with Imperial Japan’s surrender aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. 

For more travel features, visit:

‘Like’ us on

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Landing a kiss at the Battleship Missouri Memorial may land visitors a free return trip to Hawaii

October 9, 2011

Guys and gals like visiting couple Robert and Virginia Rosborough of New York who reenact this famous WWII Times Square kiss while at the Battleship Missouri Memorial can enter to win a return trip to Hawaii. Also pictured is the 6-foot “Unconditional Surrender,” a lifescale bronze sculpture by Seward Johnson, courtesy of The Sculpture Foundation © 2004.

Coinciding with the arrival of a lifescale, bronze sculpture depicting a famous World War II kiss, the Battleship Missouri Memorial is inviting visiting couples to “plant one on” for an opportunity to win a return trip to the Hawaiian Islands.

The Battleship Missouri Memorial this week launched its “Victory Kiss Contest,” in which couples reenacting photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt’s WWII Times Square picture of a Navy sailor kissing a young nurse can enter to win the getaway, including roundtrip airfare on Hawaiian Airlines to or from one of its U.S. Mainland gateway cities and a two-night stay at the Waikiki Beach Marriott Resort and Spa. The contest runs through Oct. 30.

With the nearby sculpture, couples will have an outstanding example to guide their reenactments. The 6-foot piece, titled “Unconditional Surrender,” was created by Seward Johnson, artist and son of the founder of Johnson and Johnson. It is touring the country as part of the “Keep the Spirit of ’45 Alive!” initiative, a nationwide, grassroots effort to establish an annual day to honor the achievements of America’s WWII generation so that their courage, self-sacrifice and service will continue to inspire future generations of Americans.

Photos of the visitor reenactments will be posted on the Battleship Missouri Memorial Facebook page (, where 10 finalists will be chosen on Nov. 7 based on the most “likes” they receive. From the resulting 10 finalist couples, the grand prize winner and runner-up winners will be randomly selected. The grand prize winner will be announced on Veterans Day, Nov. 11. (Runner-up prizes will include credit with the Battleship Missouri Memorial’s online Victory Store. All finalists will receive two movie vouchers to see Universal Picture’s Battleship, premiering in May 2012.)

“World War II may have formally ended on the USS Missouri with the signing of Japan’s surrender, but another iconic moment occurred weeks earlier when peace was sealed with a kiss in Times Square,” said Michael A. Carr, Missouri’s president and chief operating officer. “When Japan first announced its surrender on Aug. 14 — Aug. 15, Japan time — people from all over the world broke into spontaneous celebration, including a certain uninhibited Navy sailor and a young nurse. That photo went on to become one of the most famous photographs ever taken.”

Weeks later, on Sept. 2, 1945, Gen. Douglas MacArthur and representatives from 10 nations assembled on the USS Missouri, anchored in Tokyo Bay, to sign the Instrument of Surrender, thereby formalizing the end of World War II.

Carr added: “The Battleship Missouri Memorial is proud to showcase ‘Unconditional Surrender,’ a remarkable sculpture that so masterfully captures a moment in history. It’s like seeing an image pulled from the history books and brought nearly to life. The experience is similar to the first time I stepped aboard the Missouri and imagined the many people and historic events that had likewise crossed her decks. History really does seem to come alive in Pearl Harbor.”

The Battleship Missouri Memorial is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (Memorial photographers will take reenactment photos through 3 p.m.). Shuttle buses provide roundtrip transportation from the new Pearl Harbor Visitor Center during operating hours. Standard admission, which includes choice of a guided tour, is $20 per adult and $10 per child 4-12. For more information or to reserve a tour, call 973-2494 on Oahu, toll-free at 1-877-MIGHTYMO (1-877-644-4896) or visit

The Battleship Missouri Memorial, located a mere ship’s length from the USS Arizona Memorial, completes a historical visitor experience that begins with the “day of infamy” that saw the sinking of USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor and ends with Imperial Japan’s unconditional surrender aboard USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay. Following an astounding career that spans five decades and three wars, from World War II to the Korean conflict to the Liberation of Kuwait, the “Mighty Mo” was decommissioned and donated to the USS Missouri Memorial Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, which operates the battleship as a historic attraction and memorial. The association oversees her care and preservation with the support of visitors, memberships, grants and the generosity of donors.

For more travel features, visit: